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Blues 4, Blackhawks 3 (3OT)

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Left winger Alexander Steen scored 26 seconds into the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night in game one of their first-round playoff series.

The Blues won the face off to start the period and sent the puck into the Chicago zone, where it ended up in front of the net and Steen was able to knock it past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.

The game was the longest in franchise history for the Blues, breaking their previous mark of 37:07 set on April 7, 1984 at Detroit.

The Blues sent the game to overtime by rallying from a 3-2 deficit on left winger Jaden Schwartz's first career playoff goal with 1:45 left in the third period.

Schwartz, playing in only his seventh postseason game, was able to slip a backhand shot past Crawford, who had protected the one-goal lead since the first period.

Chicago outshot the Blues 14-10 in the first overtime but could not get the puck past goalie Ryan Miller, despite having the only power-play chance of the extra period. St. Louis center Vladimir Sobotka was called for delay of the game for flipping the puck over the glass.

The Blackhawks built their regulation advantage by scoring three times against Miller on only seven shots on goal.

Right winger Patrick Kane, returning to the Chicago lineup after missing the last 12 games of the regular season because of a knee injury, capped that flurry when he was able to get behind the Blues defense and convert a pass from center Jonathan Toews on a breakaway with 1:36 left in the first period.

The first career postseason goal by St. Louis right winger Adam Cracknell opened the scoring at 4:40 of the opening period. Cracknell spent much of this season playing in Chicago -- for the Blues' AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

The goal gave the Blues, who lost their last six games of the regular season, their first lead since April 6 in Chicago. The advantage was short-lived, however, as Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya fired a shot under Miller's pads at 11:14 to tie the game.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook drew an interference penalty against Blues defenseman Barret Jackman two minutes later, and with 17 seconds left in the penalty, Seabrook scored the power-play goal that put Chicago ahead 2-1.

The Blues tied the score at 15:52 of the first. St. Louis right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, playing his first game since March 15, when he broke his right hand, beat Crawford with a wrist shot off a perfect pass from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

After Kane's go-ahead goal, Crawford protected the one-goal advantage until Schwartz's goal. He had to stop only three St. Louis shots on goal in the second period, but two of them were big saves on Tarasenko and left winger Steve Ott. He also made a big save on Cracknell midway through the third period.

Miller kept the Blackhawks at bay through the second and third periods after his rough start.

Game 2 of the series, the first between the longtime rivals in the playoffs since 2002, will be Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.

NOTES: The Blackhawks are trying to become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since Detroit in 1997 and 1998. ... Chicago led the NHL with 267 goals during the regular season, but the team that led the league in goals has not won the Cup since the Pittsburgh Penguins did it in 1991-92. ... While the Blues got many of their injured players back Thursday night, they were still without RW T.J. Oshie and C Patrik Berglund. Oshie missed the last two games of the regular season after taking a hard check to his head against the Minnesota Wild. He could be cleared to play in Game 2 on Saturday. Berglund (upper body) is expected to be out until later in the series.

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